So a quick update on Mario's situation: I've decided to definitely go the most conservative path first. I've restarted the antibiotics. D. Moll has suggested a few holistic ideas which I am giving a go while we play our litte waiting game. As I told her, I am not normally big into non-Western medicine, but perhaps Mario is a Qi bunny at heart :) And if it won't hurt him, I'm all for that versus knocking the little guy out.
Glenna, your friend was also very helpful. Thank you so much for the connection. I am going to do a bit more sleuthing on my own as far as vet options and whether Mario seems to be favoring one side of his jaw to the other (in my light assessment, no, but I will do a more careful observation). I'm also going to go the route of humans with this issue: Warm compresses and artificial tears. In fact, after the first day of ointment I felt things looked a little better and even remarked to Boyfriend that perhaps Mario just had nasty dry eye. Glenna's friend suggested this is a possibility so I'm going to work up that avenue as well.
Both D. Moll and Glenna's friend gave me more vet insight into similar cases and I'm definitely considering how it all applies to Mario.
I'll keep everyone updated.
Still the weepy eye. It gives him such a sad look :(